Waking the Spirit: A Musician's Journey Healing Body, Mind, and Soul (Paperback)
An Oliver Sacks Foundation Best Book of the Year Selection, Finalist for the Books for a Better Life "Best First Book” Award, and a People Magazine Pick in Nonfiction.
The astounding story of a critically ill musician who is saved by music and returns to the same hospital to help heal others
Andrew Schulman, a fifty-seven-year-old professional guitarist, had a close brush with death on the night of July 16, 2009. Against the odds—and with the help of music—he survived: a medical miracle.
Once fully recovered, Andrew resolved to use his musical gifts to help critically ill patients at Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s ICU. In Waking the Spirit, you’ll learn the astonishing stories of the people he’s met along the way—both patients and doctors—and see the incredible role music can play in a modern hospital setting.
Schulman expertly weaves cutting-edge research on neuroscience and medicine, as well as what he’s learned as a professional musician, to explore the power of music to heal the body and awaken the spirit.
"Earnest but affable memoir....He talks with neuroscientists and psychiatrists and explores the legacy of Pythagoras, the ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher who was among the first to recognize the healing properties of music. Along the way, Schulman posits that the relationship between the pain we feel and the songs and compositions we love has its roots in a tender, transcendent form of symbiosis." —Meghan Daum, The New York Times Book Review
"Waking the Spirit is an inspiring story that teaches many important spiritual lessons, but the principal one is that to give thanks, you have to give. By healing others, he healed himself. You will never listen to music in the same way again.” —John Kralik, author of 365 Thank Yous
"An inspiring personal story of the ageless power of music to comfort and to heal supported with plentiful compelling scientific evidence.” —Caroline Stoessinger, author of A Century of Wisdom
"Andrew Schulman has chronicled his amazing journey in a book that should be read by everyone, not only by doctors, caregivers and musicians. 'Waking the Spirit' recounts Andrew's own miraculous recovery in an ICU when he was literally brought back to life. His profound discoveries related to healing and self healing through music will astound the reader. As a classical guitarist and composer I have witnessed music's power to heal, but nothing as dramatic as what the author, facing death, has been able to reveal.” —Liona Boyd, author of In My Own Key: My Life in Love and Music
"In the grand tradition of Oliver Sacks' Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Schulman cannily narrates stories of the ways that music can bring healing not only to the broken spirit but also to the broken body." —No Depression, Journal of Roots Music
"Inspirational." —Publishers Weekly
"Great new book on power of music in medicine by Andrew Schulman. A must read.” —Kate Edgar, Oliver Sacks Foundation
“Waking the Spirit is full of hope and wonders. Andrew Schulman has as light a touch with his pen as he does when he picks up his guitar. I think the world has been waiting for this book.”—Bill McGlaughlin, Host and music director of the public radio programs Exploring Music and Saint Paul Sunday
"A very educational and uplifting look at music therapy from a world class musician." —The Help Desk
"With a winning combination of anecdotal bedside stories, personal experience, and the research of neuroscientists, neuromusicologists, and fellow musicians, [professional guitarist Schulman] offers evidence of the calming, stabilizing, and synchronous ('entrainment') physical effects music therapy can have on a patient’s nervous system, pain, and overall health. . . An inspirational testament to the limitless benefits of music and its role in health care." —Kirkus Reviews